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[Hey guys! Brian stops by the site today to share his experience and tips using Trim – an AI chatbot that helps you automate and *find* extra savings. Hope it helps!]
Trim: An Automated Savings Assistant!
I‘m a big fan of saving money, and my guess is you might be too. I also like to keep things simple. I automate my saving with the pay yourself first rule, and then look for tools to help me save even more money automatically.
Take a look at this screenshot of my phone:
I was out this weekend and made a planned purchase and boom! Within a few minutes of the transaction, I received the above message:
“Your recent purchase with your linked Visa card earned you a $1.00 statement credit.”
Free money without doing any work! Why did I get this? Because I use a money-saving tool called Trim.
Trim is a personal financial assistant that saves money for you. One of the key personal finance principals is automation, and Trim does just that. Trim analyzes your transaction history to show you all of your subscriptions, then gives you the option to cancel anything you don’t want to keep paying for.
Trim was born after their co-founders Thomas Smyth and Daniel Petkevich went looking at their own credit card bills. Thomas had subscriptions to Hulu and Vimeo, neither of which he used. Dan was paying monthly for MailChimp, and worse yet, a renter’s insurance policy for an apartment he moved out of a year ago. They considered themselves to be responsible, financially savvy people. How did this happen?
Trim is Not an App
It’s important to note that Trim is not an app-app, but rather an Artificial Intelligence “chatbot” service solely used via Facebook Messenger or SMS text. Trim features bank-level security and uses 256-bit SSL encryption on their website, encrypted databases, and two-factor authentication when you sign in. Your data is only used for you: they don’t sell it. They safeguard your data using security at all times.
Trim’s Arsenal of Tools
Trim offers three main tools to help you save the most money:
#1. Trim Financial Manager
Users sign up through Facebook or SMS text, enter their online banking credentials (username and PW) and then it connects successfully to one of their financial institutions. Once sign up is complete, Trim will begin analyzing your account.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Cancel your old subscriptions
- Set spending alerts
- Get your balance
- Find out how much you spent on Netflix last month
- Automatically fight fees with your bank
All of these features are done via Facebook Messenger chatbot or SMS chatbot. Currently, Trim has over 850,000 active users utilizing this Financial Manager service. You can learn more here.
#2. Trim Savings
Users sign up via Facebook (must have FB messenger) and enter the info for the Visa card you use for all your grocery shopping. Once sign up is complete, Trim will begin analyzing your account.
Here are some of the things you can get with this free service:
- Coupons that automatically get applied to your Visa card
- Groceries: $1 on any purchase > $5 (you’ll receive 10 of these–a total of $10)
- Dining: $1 on any purchase > $5 (you’ll receive 10 of these–a total of $10)
- Movies: $10 on any purchase > $20 (you will receive only once)
The cumulative value of the coupons / discounts / cashback from Trim Savings = $40. You can learn more about Trim Savings here.
#3. Trim Bill Negotiator – Comcast (UPDATE: And Now Other Companies for Cable/Internet and Phone!)
Users again sign up via Facebook or SMS. The user is required to input their Comcast credentials and credit card they use to pay their Comcast bill. Trim then begins the negotiation.
- If they successfully negotiate your Comcast bill, you will save between $5 and $50 a month (they take 25% of the first month’s savings as a commission)
- If they are unsuccessful, you don’t receive any savings, and Trim doesn’t receive any payments.
UPDATE: We got a message from the Trim team that now they work with any cable/internet bill provider and not just Comcast. They also can negotiate your phone bill for you!!! Here are some bullet points they shot our way :)
- We can now negotiate ANY cable/internet bill with ANY provider — not just Comcast!
- We save users an average of $30 per bill
- The Trim bot has negotiated tens of thousands of bills so far
- We take 25% of what we save you on an annualized basis (other services take 50%+).
- It’s totally free if we aren’t able to save you anything
- For Comcast users, we’ll monitor your area on an ongoing basis for outages — and if there’s an outage in your area, we’ll try to get you a credit!
They also mention that you probably can’t *cancel* your cable bill, but odds are they can help you at least save on them.
You can learn more about Trim’s Bill Negotiator here.
Trim Price Patrol
One of the other tools Trim features is Price Patrol for Amazon. By linking your Amazon account and purchase card, Trim will fetch your past Amazon orders and their current prices. If a price drop is found, Trim gets you a refund for the difference (similar to the app Paribus, if you’ve ever heard of them?).
This feature is currently in beta mode. Trim expects to have this functionality fully released in the coming weeks.
Overall Pros and Cons
Here are the overall pros and cons of using Trim:
- Saves you money
- Reminds you of recurring subscription services and provides an easy way to cancel them
- Negotiates bills for you, so you don’t have too
- Doesn’t take up space on your smartphone
- Trim Savings only works with Visa
- Some features are still under development (Price Patrol)
- Bill Negotiator costs 25% of the first month’s savings
I’ve been using Trim for over a year now, and overall they’ve been great at identifying and automating extra savings for me. I would definitely recommend checking them out!
You can give them a shot here: AskTrim.com
About the author: Brian is the founder of DebtDiscipline, a site that chronicles his family’s journey with money and how they overcame $109,000 of debt. He’s also on Twitter @DebtDiscipline.
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